Thursday, November 26, 2009

Piano accordion master

Here's another masterpiece by Štajerskih sedem (Štajerskih 7) and especially their piano accordion player: Slalom za harmoniko (Accordion Slalom) - in case you enjoyed yesterday's post and you have some time to spend on your computer these days.





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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a beautiful Thanksgiving Day, no matter where you are and who you're celebrating with - with some quotes and uplifting music videos.

French Proverb:
Gratitude is the heart's memory.

For today's occasion I chose an older group that has been around for decades: Štajerskih sedem. Below is their polka about the happy dancing.

They have always been very popular, their music and performance of high quality and singer Rudi
Šantl's voice very distinctive.

He toured Canada and U.S. a few months ago as a vocal with Slovenian group Tramontana. Rudi since received more invitations from this side of Atlantic to come back and sing for Slovenian Clubs again. In an interview (after his return to Slovenia) he stated that he'd be more than happy to do so.




Jackie Windspear:
Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live.

And a waltz by the same polka band, Štajerskih sedem and Rudi Šantl singing. The lyrics are about one's broken heart - but don't let that bother you. They end with the following verse: "At the end you have to admit, it was beautiful..." (Na koncu si le priznaš, bilo je lepo...)

Both of today's videos are from their live performances in 1995. Rudi is not a member of
Štajerskih sedem any more. He is now singing with many different ensembles.







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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy polka video

I found this video of Slovenian group named Pop'n'dekl - which means carton - in Germanic-Slovenian slang. I won't go into the details of lyrics - so I don't get accused of something ;) - in short, this tune sings about Franček (Frank) who liked his flute and girls, of course.

These guys from Pop'n'dekl group say about themselves that rumors about them being half way nuts is a complete misinformation because they are nuts - all the way... :)

Enjoy!





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Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner and Dance

Everyone who attended yesterday's Thanksgiving Dinner and Dance had a good time. Thanks to Eileen, the tables were nicely decorated (we received several compliments for that) and - also thanks to Eileen, we had a nice variety of pies and some other pastries.

The food was good, all the credits go to chef Richard and everyone else who helped with cooking, baking and serving food, the music was a nice mix of ballroom and polka tunes - by Steve Juricic and Tropical Squeeze. Most of the guests were regulars but we also had a few first-timers who sounded quite determined to come back again after yesterday's experience.

Here are some photos from Yesterday's event. I'll add more as I fix them. The light conditions in the SNPJ Hall are usually too low for my Kodak camera which prefers taking outdoors pictures in Florida's sunshine... ;)

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Polka music future continued

Response to Polka music future post - by Walt Harfmann

Daria,

This past summer we went to Slovenia, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, as you know.

We were stunned, in Austria, Slovenia, and also southern Germany, at how many young people are very interested in Folk music, or as in Austria & Germany, Volksmusik.

From our last visit in 2001, to this trip, 2009, We would have to say that there is at least a ten-fold increase in the interest of Buttonbox music, Folk music, and Polka music in general, however, true European style.

There are even studios, that teach buttonbox accordion that are new on the map since 2001. One we visited, teaches 400 students a week, in Austria, and they have 8 more studios around Europe.

The crowds at the festivals proved to us that this isn't going away in Europe, but increasing by big numbers.

It is very refreshing to see young people in parts of this world who are deeply interested in their heritage and customs.

Not everyone in this world is only interested in Rap, or being what you are not!

To us, this was re-assuring to know that our heritage, music, and customs, will survive in part of the world. If only some of our young people in America would take an interest, instead of poking fun at their heritage.

We realize, that at this time in our culture(America), their have been many mixed backgrounds to form the current generation, but there are also many close to one, two, or three heritage background people of the current generation, who also don't know about, or even care about, their heritage.

With this attitude, America will become an even more "Lost" bunch of people. Probably why we have so many problems here at home.

Walt Harfmann
Vice-President
S.N.P.J. 778
Spring Hill, Florida

Monday, November 16, 2009

Polka music future

Lately, there's been a lot of discussion (at the meetings as well as certain newspapers) - about Slovenian Style (Cleveland Style) Polka music losing it's followers and popularity in United States.

For some reason this kind of statements don't resonate with me so I did some research.

See for yourself (below) what kind of polka music and performers I discovered.

Video below: Marko Mikiš (button box) and Nick Pehan (vocal) performing for the TV show "Polka in majolka" in Jarenina, Slovenia



Video below: The youngest Turbo Folk Group from Zg. Velka in Slovenia, Turbo Veseljaki: Sara, Teja, Jernej and Marko
performing live on "Polka in majolka" show.

Glasba - music by: Marko Mikiš
Besedilo - lyrics by: Mitja Grmovšek




And the conclusion?

I am quite confident to say that for as long as polka music is performed with such enthusiasm and virtuosity by the youngest generations in the crib of the Cleveland Style Polka - in Slovenia, polka tunes and dancing will live and thrive.

It's all in spreading the word and promoting the happiest music known to man.

You too can help - by telling your friends and family about this post. Thank you!! :)

Related posts:




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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Steve Juricic and Tropical Squeeze

To give you a taste of music we're going to dance to at this season's first event - Thanksgiving Dinner Dance - here's a video of Steve Juricic and Tropical Squeeze, a Slovenian Style Polka Band.

These guys strut their stuff in the Tampa Bay Area.
Tropical Squeeze is Steve Juricic - Accordion-ItaloBass-Lead Vocal, Mike Pavlin - Bass - Button Box, Bill Rochon - Accordion - X4, Dick Smith - Drums - Vocals and Bob Cunningham - Banjo.

Catch their music next you're in the TampaBay Area.
This video is excerpts from their General Store Concert at Heritage Park in Largo, FL





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